As a free public service to spare the unsuspecting reader from being traumatized, I have read this book with a critical and sensitive eye as this is one of the dirty half dozen Seuss books no longer published for their obvious danger to the mental health of the young American mind. It begins and ends with a boy expressing unbounded optimism, despite the skeptical view of a wizened farmer, that fishing in McElligot's pool will be successful. The optimism of youth in the face of elderly skepticism could be quite frightening - from which our children should be protected. The core of the book elaborates and illustrates the fanciful imagination of the boy as he thinks about the sources of water for the pool and the creatures that might be coming to McElligot's pool. Fanciful imagination of thin fish, stout fish, short fish and long fish is also best not to expose children. The book contains such dangerous lines "I might catch some fish that would open your eye!". One shudders to think of the depravity that would result from being exposed to dog fish, cat fish, "a fish with a checkerboard belly", "a fish made of strawberry jelly", "some fish from the tropics all sunburned and hot", or gasp "some Eskimo fish from beyond Hudson bay". This is entirely outrageous of the author dropping in some geographical names that might arouse some curiosity in young impressionable readers.

So if your child is like most children, in this "land of the free and home of the brave", wary of a generous helping in a book of optimism, imagination, curiosity with touches of geography, geology, water pollution, and the demonstrated ability to respectfully disagree with an adult, then clearly one should stay away from this ill conceived book. For the very few children who are exceptionally robust in their outlook and can tolerate points of view seldom encountered in school, then this is an utterly charming book.

We are very so lucky that there are sane, caring, adults in the corporate publishing world that are so considerate of our children's mental health and emotional well being.

Bududo's rating:
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